Wordsler in numbers – Maemo5 still kicking strong

Wordsler is now available on Maemo5, Symbian (^3, Anna and Belle), Android and for the Blackberry Playbook, thanks to the amazing portability of Qt. With this said, let’s have a look at some numbers, as of May 30th.

Number of registered users for the online challenge since release (August for most platforms, Playbook only a few weeks ago):

  • maemo5 568
  • symbian 424
  • harmattan 232
  • playbook 13
  • android 10

Number of registered users for the online challenge in April and May:

  • maemo5 67
  • symbian 51
  • harmattan 28
  • playbook 13

Interestingly, Maemo5 is still ahead of any other platforms, even though its last handset was released 2 and a half years ago, as well as being the only platform where Wordlser is not in the official app store (it’s in Extras). Another interesting fact is that Harmattan users are half as likely to register online after downloading the game (downloads are about equal between Harmattan and Symbian), and play fewer games overall as well:
Number of online games since April 1st:

  • symbian 5110
  • maemo5 1570
  • harmattan 1334
  • android 73
  • playbook 83

Since April 1st, there is an average of 33 players playing per day, each playing an average of 5.5 times. Not too bad for a game that hasn’t really seen any updates in 9 months.
And a very special mention for Vincy, who has won every monthly challenge since August but 1! A very impressive feat!

Wordsler updates

Wordsler 0.3 is now available, mostly for fixing a portrait mode bug, where cards became inaccessible. The online experience has also been improved, with some spinning icons, and some more information when logging in (like words from the previous day).

And to illustrate the power of Qt, here is a photo (bad quality…) of Wordsler running on 7 different OS:


There is a N950 with Meego Harmattan, a N900 with Maemo 5, a N8 with Symbian Anna, an E7 with Symbian^3, an Asus Transformer with Android 3.2 and a desktop with Ubuntu and Windows.
It can be downloaded from Extras-testing for Maemo5 (it could use some votes to get into Extras!), the Ovi Store for Symbian (N9/N950 is still in QA) and from the Android Market.

FeedingIt, Lukija and Wordsler updates

It’s been a while since the last post, even though a lot has happened in the meantime.

First on the FeedingIt front, the app has been in a fairly stable state since last fall, without any updates, or major issues. As the E7 replaced the N900 as my “every-day-in-my-pocket” phone, the incentive to make further updates just wasn’t there. But recently Neal contacted me about integrating support for one of his projects, Woodchuck, into FeedingIt. He’s submitted lots of good patches, which will come into a new release after some testing.

Still on that front, there will be some efforts into advancing the QML interface further, to make it compatible with the N9/N950. It turns out that the default Feed app on the N950 is really quite good (missing a few things like OPML import/export), so we’ll see which way development will go as time progresses.

But the lack of FeedingIt updates doesn’t mean I was entirely idle. The basis of the QML interface created for it was used to make Lukija, a reader for the bookmark service Read-It-Later. It is released for Maemo5 and is also available in the Ovi Store for Symbian^3.

More recently, I have released Wordsler, a simple word puzzle game. It is available for Maemo 5 (currently in Extra-testing), N9/N950 and Symbian^3. Here is a very well written review from All About Symbian that summarizes the game better than I could ever do. What’s missing from the version being reviewed is the Online Daily Challenge. Every day, everyone willing to take part in the challenge is given the same set of lettered cards as everybody else. Scores are then submitted online, and a scoreboard is drawn up every day.


FeedingIt RSS Reader, now with more QML

FeedingIt version 0.9 is close to release to Extras-Devel repository for Maemo 5. It includes a few bugfixes, but mostly, it puts forward the new interface made with QML. It still misses a few important features compared to the older GTK interface, such as OPML import/export, edit feed/category names and some dbus calls (addfeed), but it is already quite nice to use with much improved swipes to go from one article to the next and more responsive for screen rotation.
If anyone is interested in helping out with this effort, in particular in the design of the icons, do not hesitate to contact me.

Below are 2 screenshots of the article listing, and a video to show the flow of the new interface. The package for the beta 2 can be downloaded at the Maemo garage.


0.9 beta with QML interface preview

Just posted a little video preview of the new interface based on Qml:

It’s still in quite an early stage, with a few known issues (mainly strange caching behaviour), and a lot of polishing to do. But it’s been quite an interesting experiment.

For those who would like to try it themselves (usual extras-devel caution applies, times 5 as it’s not even there!), the 0.9beta package is available at: https://garage.maemo.org/frs/?group_id=1202
Note that you need to have PR1.3, and install manually the qt4-declarative-qmlviewer package if you want to use the Qml interface (the usual gtk-based interface is still the default and doesn’t have any extra requirements). This version adds categories, and also fixes a few bugs.
To preview the QML interface, type “FeedingIt qml” on the X-terminal. As usual, feel free to send feedback, comments and even insults my way.

0.8 update: new small size mode

After some very valuable feedback on the talk.maemo.org forums, a few changes have been implemented. There is now a small mode available through the widget settings, which uses a much smaller footprint on the desktop.

Widget Small mode

The large mode remains the same, except there will not be any empty lines at the bottom any more.

Widget Large Mode

Upcoming version 0.8

Soon in a repository near you will be available version 0.8.0 of FeedingIt. In this version, the storage engine is changed to use sqlite3, rather than serialized python classes. The advantage of the new backend is a much better handling of concurrency, and the ability to work with subsets of data rather than loading everything to memory. Although this is not really noticeable to end users, it opens the way for exciting new features, the first of which is an improved home-screen widget, included in this release. You can now view a listing of unread article titles right on the desktop, and read the full articles in the main application with a couple of clicks.

Home Screen Widget Listing Available Feeds

Home Screen Widget Listing Available Articles

Note that after upgrading from 0.7 to 0.8, the first time the application is run it will go through the upgrade process for the database. This can take quite a few minutes, depending on how many feeds/articles you have.

FeedingIt 0.6.2 promoted to Extras-Testing

That’s right, the new version of FeedingIt, 0.6.2, is ready for testing. It has been in the Extras-Devel repository for a while. The main change in this version is the addition of a home-screen widget. This widget displays the number of unread messages for the top 8 feeds, even when the main application is not running. It also integrates a scheduler to enable regular automatic updates that will be running in the background (no need to leave the application running to get the updates). Double-clicking one of the feed titles will open the main application to display this feed.

The main application also received some updates, most notable for speed and memory management. Visually, the main difference is the addition of the icons in the feed listing.

So, if you have a chance to test this version, and if you think it is ready to be promoted to Extras, you can vote for it here:

Also of note, 2 people have shown interest in helping out with the development of FeedingIt. A first patch was submitted by Nelson a couple of days ago to add a setting to hide feeds and articles that are already read. It’s quite exciting to see new contributions like this, and let’s see how this project evolves with a more diversified input.